High-End Italian TV Shows ‘Django,’ ‘Devils’ Set to Fly With Sky Italia (EXCLUSIVE)

CANNES — Sky Italia is boarding Spaghetti Western TV series “Django” and high-finance thriller “The Devils,” adding two new high-end Italian shows to a growing roster.

The Murdoch-controlled pan-European paybox has already successfully spawned several Italo skeins for the global marketplace such as “Gomorrah” and “The Young Pope.”

Co-produced by Italy’s Cattleya, now controlled by ITV, and France’s Atlantique Productions, ‘Django’ is being described as a high-concept reimagining of the cult 1966 Sergio Corbucci Western that launched the career of Franco Nero (pictured), but with the grit and edginess of today’s premium TV.

The show will not take it cue from Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 homage “Django Unchained.”

Instead “It takes the atmosphere of Corbucci’s original Italian movie, but with a super modern script,” said Sky Italia content chief Andrea Scrosati, noting that it has elements “that you would never suspect in a Western.” For instance, “a gay sheriff who obviously has to conceal that, which creates a psychological hurdle.”

The head writers on “Django” are Leonardo Fasoli and Maddalena Ravagli who both worked on “Gomorrah.” The director/showrunner is being kept under wraps.

“Django,” which will be Sky Italia’s first full-fledged period drama, is likely to become the first of several Spaghetti Western concept series being developed in Italy to hit global screens. “They could potentially open up an entire new genre strand,” Scrosati noted.

Also expected to fly with Sky Italia, though not yet fully contractualised, is “The Devils,” which will reconstruct predatory dynamics that prompted the Eurozone crisis. It will delve into the world of financial traders in London, Frankfurt and Milan, based on a book by Italian trader Guido Brera who worked for Morgan Stanley in London.

“Devils” is being produced by Lux Vide, the Italian shingle behind hit period drama “Medici.” It will be the first show that Sky Italia does with Lux Vide. International talents and the directorial team are being kept under wraps.

Also in Sky Italia’s pipeline are “1994,” the fourth season of “Gomorrah,” and Paolo Sorrentino’s “The New Pope,” which will start production in the Spring of 2018.

Scrosati underscored that Sky Italia’s drama output is “increasingly integrated” with the Sky shows that are coming out of the U.K. and Germany.

“This year you will start to see the result of a [pan-European] strategy,” he said, noting that the U.K.’s “Riviera” and “Tin Star” have performed well in Italy and he has similar expectations for Germany’s “Babylon Berlin,” which will soon launch into Italy from the Rome Film Festival, and also for “Britannia” coming up in 2018.

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